I stayed up all night last Friday to watch the All Whites play Paraguay. I did my bit. Yeah, I’m a patriot. I didn’t even go to sleep beforehand; I was awake RIGHT THROUGH. This prompted colleagues to remark “I didn’t realise you were a fan!” Despite my concerted efforts to explain that I was still awake well past midnight, and succumbed to peer pressure on Twitter (“We’re making history here!”), I’m still down as a true supporter.
And seriously, Twitter was going OFF. It was busy as it is at peak times. It was incredibly exciting (more so than the game itself, perhaps). John Campbell was up. Colleagues were up. The Twitterati were up. Hashtags were going mad (and #NZL still failed to make the trending topics!) I kept one eye on the TV and the other on my laptop screen, constantly hitting F5 – thanks Tweetdeck, for failing me so badly that I had to resort to the web. It was indeed a little bit of history in the making, and I was there, kind of. My was heart skipping every time the ball approached either goal, and swooning a little every time I saw Ryan Nelsen (yum).
I even took part in the whiteout. In fact, I liked my black and white avatar pic so much that I still have it up.
But does it really make a difference? Other tweeters know you’ve whited out your display pic. But how can the players? I loved the spirit that we’re showing, but ultimately, if the people we’re supporting don’t realise just how many of us are doing it, what’s the point?
I actually cannot remember if I took part in the breast cancer awareness meme earlier this year (where people were posting their bra colour on Facebook), but here’s a reasoned and thoughtful piece on how it in fact excluded many cancer survivors.
In summary…it’s great when things go viral. But what does it really mean?